Hi. Yes, I'm Christmas.

What was that?

Was I born on December 25?

Ha ha ha. Very funny. Like I haven't heard that one before. No, I wasn't. Actually I was due then but I was born premature, on the 10th.

What?

Yes, I still get presents. Of course. Why wouldn't I?

I mean, a birthday's a birthday. Christmas is Christmas. They're different.

What?

No, my mum wasn't drunk.

No, my dad wasn't either.

That's not very nice. I happen to like the name Christmas.

What's your name?

Really? You're called Halloween?

Oh.

Ha ha ha. Very funny. Gee, are you a comedian?

What do you want anyway? I'm late for class.

Who sent you?

Ah.

Jack.

Well, he's an ass. You can tell him to stick it where the sun don't shine.

Oh really? Gee, now I'm scared.

He wouldn't dare.

He's a dobber. Anyway, I see he's sent you to find me. Can't he do his own dirty work?

Oh, he's trying you, isn't he? I fell for that too. You do things for the gang, then he lets you in or keeps you out.

Well, I failed. Obviously. Because now he's looking for me.

What did I have to do?

Steal the teacher's shoes and put them in the fish tank.

Don't laugh, it's not funny.

You really want to know? Okay then.

We have a teacher, English teacher. Every morning she takes her shoes off and kicks them under her desk. Sarah, you know Sarah? Freckles, long red hair, buck teeth?

Yeah, I think she's a swimmer.

Anyway.

Sarah distracted the teacher while I snuck up the front and took the shoes. She asked her some question about Shakespeare or something.

What?

I can't remember. Does it matter?

Something about Macbeth.

Anyway, shut up. I'm telling the story.

I grab the shoes and I'm terrified of getting caught, you know, new student in school and all. Anyway, I creep over to the fish tank real sneaky. The teacher doesn't see me and Sarah's doing a great job of keeping her occupied. Then do you know what happened? Jack the bastard stuck his leg out and tripped me!

Yeah, I know! It was low!

Well, I'm getting to that. I was so mad I leapt up and threw the shoes at him.

Yes, I was standing real close.

Yes, I have good aim.

Broken nose, apparently. Everyone was talking about how he was crying like a baby all the way to the hospital.

Well, after that Jack's gang got sick of him, thought he was a whimp. But they thought I was cool, you know, for breaking his nose with a pair of stilettos. So we made our own gang with me as the leader.

What?

Sure you can join! But I thought you were with Jack?

(laughs) That's not very nice. I'm sure he's in a lot of pain at the moment.

What?

No, don't bother asking me. The answer is no.

N-O, No.

How did I know what you were going to ask?

Because for the past week Jack has been sending his little clowns from the hospital to ask me the same thing. And every week it's the same answer:

"No Jack, you can't join my gang."